The joy of tennis

I’ve watched tennis for years, and always loved it.

When I was 10, I laughed at Henri Leconte.

I listened to my dad tut-tutting about John McEnroe.

I fell madly in love with Steffi Graf and Gabriele Sabatini.

(Yes, both of them.)

And I wanted to be Stefan Edberg.

I lost the Sampras years. Federer brought me back. Then Rafa Nadal became my hero.

For the way he plays. For how he ekes everything out of himself. For his humility.

And for refusing to accept that the way things are is the way they always have to be.

I’ve wanted to play tennis for so long, but I never did.

I had never played, so I thought I never could play.

But last week I joined the local club.

It’s silly, but it scared the hell out of me.

Entering a new place, where everyone else seems at home and you’re not, is not so easy.

At least not for me.

The first night – club night, mixed doubles – was enjoyable but a bit uncomfortable.

I wasn’t sure which side of the court to be on.

I didn’t understand some of the lingo. (“Short deuce”, “ladder league”)

But I started.

And I went back.

And I made some progress.

As Tony Robbins​ says:

Progress equals happiness.

Even if you’re not where you want to be yet.

If you’re on the road, if you’re improving, if you’re making progress, you’re gonna love it.

You’re gonna feel alive.

What thing have you always wanted to do, and never done?

Painting? Hill-walking? Ballroom dancing?

I encourage you to say hell with all the reasons why not.

Life is short.

Just do it.

You might just feel alive.

That’s how it’s working for me.